By Bryan Christiansen
Church maintenance management often comes with a two-fold challenge – having qualified staff to provide sufficient attention for each asset and providing funds to maintain the physical facilities over time. This unique dilemma exists mainly because a large majority of a church’s staff usually work part-time or are volunteers, and churches are non-profit establishments.
However, if left unattended every building system will deteriorate over time, like any other physical asset. Therefore, at the barest minimum, churches need an effective but prudent and straightforward maintenance program. Below are three tips to help you streamline your church maintenance operations, bearing in mind the peculiarities of church maintenance.
1) Start with a maintenance plan
A comprehensive maintenance plan that captures all the physical assets in a location, is an unavoidable requirement for efficient building maintenance. While some assets will deteriorate rapidly and need attention frequently, others can function for years with minimal maintenance. A maintenance plan helps to create a schedule whereby each asset gets the care it requires.
In addition, a maintenance plan will help to ensure a consistently proactive work culture among your maintenance team, help to decrease equipment downtime, reduce long-term repair costs, improve safety for everyone using the facility, and much more.
The information gathering process while creating a maintenance plan will create insights into:
- Updated information about the building, equipment, manuals, repair history and costs, etc., thus empowering you to make better-informed decisions.
- Areas of operational gaps and weaknesses. For instance, identifying persistent labor problems or your most problematic assets.
- The condition of your major building components, major equipment, and the projected life expectancy for each item.
Eventually, you’ll be in a better position to choose the best maintenance strategy for your church.
2) Automate with CMMS
Automating maintenance management will boost your efforts to streamline your maintenance operations. It will also help you to stay ahead of the seemingly never-ending maintenance tasks and requirements at busy church premises. A CMMS is the ideal tool for this since it is specifically designed for optimizing maintenance management.
With a modern CMMS, you can plan and track every aspect of your church maintenance activities. It offers several functions that church administrators will find useful such as:
- Quickly populate your maintenance plan with routine tasks for all assets.
- Create work orders and assign them to the concerned staff.
- Track work progress from start to finish.
- Collect and extract information whenever you need it.
- Input and extract financial and budgeting information.
3) Empower your staff with proper resource management
You can save your church a lot of operational headaches by making sure that your staff, and especially your volunteers are properly trained to execute the jobs assigned to them.
It’s important to mention here that no matter how simple or complex a task may be, access to the necessary resources is important for smooth church operations. In the context of maintenance, those resources will typically include:
- The right tools available that is needed for performing required maintenance work
- The availability of necessary spare parts used for preventive maintenance (i.e. filters for HVAC device)
- Enough capable hands, especially after special events (e.g. you might need more people to clean after a wedding than after regular service)
- You can make all kinds of maintenance and cleaning checklists that people (especially fresh team members and volunteers) can follow
- Set clear general guidelines (so people know who they can report problems to, who is in charge of scheduling, etc.)
The above tips are not an exhaustive guide for streamlining church maintenance operations. However, they can guide clergy, church managers and administrators in pinpointing a few key areas that will help them to leverage scarce resources in the most efficient manner. Especially when funds are hard to come by.
Of course, every church is different so take a look at these tips and use them to reevaluate how your church maintenance currently measures up.
Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO at Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy to use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate and streamline their maintenance operations.